Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam

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Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam
Department of Forensic Molecular Biology
‘s-Gravendijkwal 230
3015 CE  Rotterdam

The Netherlands

Scientific Lead

Prof. Dr. Manfred Kayser
Phone: +31 10 703 80 73



Project Staff

Dr. Fan Liu

Dr. Athina Vidaki

Lakshmi Chaitanya


Institute Presentation

The Department of Forensic Molecular Biology (FMB), established in 2004 as joint initiative of the Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, the Erasmus University Rotterdam, and the Netherlands Forensic Institute,
uses state-of-the-art technologies to address topics within human molecular biology and genetics that are of fundamental scientific interest and at the same time provide potential applications to forensic sciences. Professor Manfred Kayser, founding head of the FMB department with 15 staff members, is internationally considered as one of the pioneers of project-relevant Forensic DNA Phenotyping (FDP) i.e., the prediction of human externally visible characteristics (EVCs) from crime scene stains. Over the past years, the FMB researchers have demonstrated that human eye and hair colors can be reliably inferred from genotypes of less than 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from several pigmentation genes. Based on their findings, the researchers further established forensically validated multiplex assays for eye and hair prediction. Furthermore, FMB researchers have been investigating into genetics of many other EVCs, such as body height, facial shape, and chronological age. Forensic tools developed by the FMB department are applied to practical forensic casework at the Netherlands Forensic Institute and forensic institutes around the world.
Project relevant infrastructures include the samples from Rotterdam Study i.e., thousands of Dutch Europeans fully genotyped at genome-wide scale using microarrays and with various EVCs collected including hair structure
phenotypes. Further, the FMB department has established close collaborations with multiple large cohorts, such as the Brisbane Twin Nevus Study from Australia, TwinsUK from United Kingdom, and Erasmus Rucphen Family study from the Netherlands. Together more than 17 thousand fully informative subjects are available for this project.